Replace rub rails with...?
Has anyone seen rub rails replaced with something else?
I've seen a few different opinions on whether the rub rails on school buses contribute significantly to the structural strength of a bus or are just there to ward off nicks and dings to the panels. Either way, let's say I want to get rid of them due to the fact that no matter how nifty a conversion job you've done and how much effort you've put into the exterior, leaving the rub rails on makes the rig look like a school bus instead of an RV.
Has anyone thought of something to replace the rails with that would do the same job without looking so bus-like?
What I'd really like to do is replace rub rails with something else which will provide the same structural rigidity but with a different aesthetic. Ideally, it would also be something which would allow me to mount sensors within the center of the channel. Maybe a shallow trapezoid that could fit against the body in place of the rub rail? Something made from a pair of triangular metal tubes with a plate running down the center? I'm just tossing around ideas here. Check the attached illustration for an idea of what I mean.
I've seen some rails removed and some left, but I don't think I've seen anyone intentionally replace them with something else. Any ideas?